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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That food web is an interlocking system of food chains. since few animals rely on a single food source and since no food source is consumed exclusively by a single species of animal, the separate food chains in any natural community interlock and form a web [23].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for groundwaters (Keyword) returned 67 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 61 to 67 of 67
SPELEOGENESIS ALONG DEEP REGIONAL FAULTS BY ASCENDING WATERS: CASE STUDIES FROM SLOVAKIA AND CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012,
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Bella Pavel, Bosak Pavel

The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


Isotopic and hydrochemical data as indicators of recharge areas, flow paths and waterrock interaction in the Caldas da RainhaQuinta das Janelas thermomineral carbonate rock aquif, 2013,
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Marques J. M. , Graa H. , Eggenkamp H. G. M. , Neves O. , Carreira P. M. , Matias M. J. , Mayer B. , Nunes D. , Trancoso V. N.

An updated conceptual circulation model for the Caldas da Rainha and Quinta das Janelas thermomineralwaters was developed. These thermomineral waters (T _ 33 _C) are related to a huge syncline ascribed tothe regional flow paths. Two diapiric structures were responsible for the uplift and subsequent folding ofregional Jurassic carbonate rocks. Environmental isotopic (d2H and d18O) data indicates that the mainrecharge area of the thermomineral system is linked to the Jurassic limestones (Candeeiros Mountains,E border of the syncline). The thermomineral waters belong to the Cl–Na sulphurous-type, with a totalmineralization of about 3000 mg/L. The thermomineral aquifer system seems to be ‘‘isolated’’ fromanthropogenic contamination, which is typical for the local shallow groundwater systems, due to theexistence of impermeable layers composed of a series of loamy and detritic rocks of the Upper Jurassic.The presence of 3H in some thermomineral borehole waters, not accompanied by an increase in SO2_4 andNO_3 , could be ascribed to different underground flow paths and different mean residence time. Thed34S(SO4) and d18O(SO4) values of dissolved sulphate of groundwaters of the Caldas da Rainha Spas indicatethat the sulphate is the result of water–rock interaction with evaporitic rocks (e.g. gypsum and anhydrite)ascribed to the regional synclinal structure.


Exploring the sulfide tolerance of ectosymbiotic Niphargus amphipods from the Frasassi caves, central Italy, 2013,
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Bauermeister J. , Assig K. , Dattagupta S.

Two species of the crustacean amphipod genus Niphargus inhabit the sulfidic groundwaters of the Frasassi caves in central Italy, and both harbor filamentous, sulfide-oxidizing Thiothrix ectosymbionts. As sulfide is toxic to most aerobic organisms, it appeared possible that the ectosymbionts could help their Niphargus hosts with detoxification processes. In this study, mortality due to sulfide was compared between Niphargus individuals with ectosymbionts and individuals whose ectosymbionts had been killed by antibiotic treatment. Both Frasassi- dwelling Niphargus species revealed exceptionally high tolerances to sulfide compared to other amphipod species studied so far. Niphargus individuals without viable ectosymbionts tolerated sulfide levels exceeding those occurring in Frasassi cave waters. Thus, the amphipods may employ Thiothrix-independent mechanisms for sulfide resistance.


Hypogene speleogenesis in Italy, 2013,
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Menichetti, M.

Through more than one century of speleological research in Italy, many hypogenic limestone caves have been explored, mapped and studied. These caves are characterized by a variety of patterns and morphological sizes including three-dimensional maze sys-tems and deep shafts, with both active endogenic CO2 and H2S vents.
An integrate approach taking in account geological, hydrological and geochemical set-tings permit to recognize the main hypogenic speleogenetic process. The H2S oxidation to sulfuric acid, by oxygen-rich groundwaters as well as in the atmosphere is actually the main active hypogenic cave-forming processes. Both phreatic and vadose corrosion reactions involve chemotropic microbial activity, with sulfur-redox bacterial communi-ties that generate sulfuric acid as metabolic product. The bedrock corrosion produce sulfate ions in the phreatic zone and gypsum replacement in the limestone walls of the vadose sectors of the caves. The caves are characterized by both fossil and active pas-sages in which water rich in H2S as well as endogenic CO2 plays a determinant role in speleogenesis. Although sulfuric acid-related speleogenesis typically produces gypsum deposits, in caves where the karstification processes are driven by subterranean CO2 sources, voids and speleothems are the only final products.
In Italy all the end-members of the karst processes can be found, from solution caves to outcrop of carbonate travertine. The hypogenic caves are concentrated for largest and both fossils and active systems in the Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Latium regions (Menichetti, 2009). These consist of few tens of kilometers of solutional passages with galleries and shafts, which are characterized by large rooms, cupola and blind pits, anas-tomotic passages, bubble trails roof pendants, knife edges, and phreatic passages. Ac-tive smaller karst systems are known in Southern Italy in Apulia, Campania and Sicily, related to the geothermal anomaly associated with CO2 and H2S vents.


Hydrogeological approach to distinguishing hypogene speleogenesis settings, 2013,
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Klimchouk, A. B.

The hydrogeological approach to defining hypogene speleogenesis (HS) relates it to ascending groundwater flow (AF). HS develops where AF causes local disequilibria conditions favoring dissolution and supports them during sufficiently long time in course of the geodynamic and hydrogeological evolution. The disequilibrium conditions at depth are invoked by changing physical-chemical parameters along an AF paths, or/and by the interaction between circulation systems of different scales and hydrody-namic regimes. The association of HS with AF suggests a possibility to discern regulari-ties of development and distribution of HS from the perspectives of the regional hy-drogeological analysis. In mature artesian basins of the cratonic type, settings favorable for AF and HS, are as follows: 1) marginal areas of discharge of the groundwaters of the 2nd hydrogeological story (H-story), 2) zones of topography-controlled upward cir-culation within the internal basin area (at the 1st and, in places, at the 2nd H-stories; 3) crests of anticlinal folds or uplifted tectonic blocs within the internal basin area where the upper regional aquitard is thinned or partially breached; 4) linear-local zones of deep-rooted cross-formational faults conducting AF from internal deep sources across the upper H-stories. Hydrodynamics in the 3rd and 4th stories is dominated by ascending circulation strongly controlled by cross-formational tectonic structures. Specific circula-tion pattern develops in large Cenozoic carbonate platforms (the Florida-type), side-open to the ocean, where AF across stratified sequences in the coastal parts, driven by both topography-induced head gradients and density gradients, involves mixing with the seawater. The latter can be drawn into a platform at deep levels and rise in the plat-form interior (the Kohout’s scheme). In folded regions, AF and HS are tightly con-trolled by faults, especially those at junctions between large tectonic structures. In young intramontaine basins with dominating geostatic regime, HS is favored at margin-al discharge areas where circulation systems of different origins and regimes may inter-act, such as meteoric waters flows from adjacent uplifted massifs, basinal fluids expelled from the basin’s interiors, and endogenous fluids rising along deep-rooted faults. Spe-cific and very favorable settings for HS are found in regions of young volcanism with carbonate formations in a sedimentary cover


Linking mineral deposits to speleogenetic processes in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Mallorca, Spain)., 2014,
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Onac B. P. , Fornós J. J. , Merino A. , Ginés J. , Diehl J.

Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (CPV) is the premier cave of the Balearic Archipelago. Over 74 km of passages develop within two carbonate lithofacies (reef front and back reef), which ultimately control the patterns of the cave and to some degree its mineral infilling. The diversity of speleothem-forming minerals is four times greater around or within hypogene-related features (vents, rims, cupolas), compared to any other vadose passages in the cave. The mineralogy of speleothems (crusts, nodules, crystals, earthy masses) associated with hypogene features in the seaward upper maze of Sector F is characterized by the presence of aragonite, ankerite, huntite, clay minerals, and quartz. In the Tragus and Nord sectors, however, the dominant mineral is dolomite, along with aragonite, celestine, huntite, clay minerals, and quartz. Calcite is by far the most ubiquitous mineral throughout the cave. Detailed macroscopic and scanning electron microanalysis and imaging have permitted the investigation of textural relationships between the minerals associated with vents, rims, and vent’s roof and walls. These studies along with morphological and stable isotope analyses confirm that not all minerals are connected with a hypogene stage in the cave evolution, and furthermore, none of them appears to be sulfuric acid by-products. Instead, the mineral assemblages documented in speleothems from CPV clearly support at least three speleogenetic pathways, namely seacoast mixing, ascending of warm groundwaters, and meteoric recharge (vadose). Thus, cave minerals in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera hold the keys to reconstruction and understanding of processes and conditions under which they precipitated, allowing to establish their relationship with various speleogenetic pathways


International Conference on Groundwater in Karst, Programme and Abstracts, 2015, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, 2015,
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Carbonate rocks present a particular challenge to hydrogeologists as the major groundwater flux is through an integrated network of dissolutionally enlarged channels that discharge via discrete springs. The channels span a very wide aperture range: the smallest are little more than micro-fractures or pathways through the rock matrix but at the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) channels may grow to dimensions where they can be explored by humans and are called caves. Groundwater transmission through the smaller channels that are commonly intersected by boreholes is very slow and has often been analysed using equivalent porous media models although the limitations of such models are increasingly recognised. At the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) flow through the larger conduits is analogous to ‘a surface stream with a roof’ and may be amenable to analysis by models devised for urban pipe networks. Regrettably, hydrogeologists have too often focussed on the extreme ends of the spectrum, with those carbonates possessing large and spectacular landforms regarded as “karst” whereas carbonates with little surface expression commonly, but incorrectly labelled as “non-karstic”. This can lead to failures in resource management. Britain is remarkable for the variety of carbonate rocks that crop out in a small geographical area. They range in age and type from Quaternary freshwater carbonates, through Cenozoic, Mesozoic and Paleozoic limestones and dolostones, to Proterozoic metacarbonates. All near surface British carbonates are soluble and groundwater is commonly discharged from them at springs fed by dissolutionally enlarged conduits, thereby meeting one internationally accepted definition of karst. Hence, it is very appropriate that Britain, and Birmingham as Britain's second largest city, hosts this International Conference on Groundwater in Karst. The meeting will consider the full range of carbonate groundwater systems and will also have an interdisciplinary approach to understanding karst in its fullest sense.


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